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4 Benefits of a Rekeyable Interchangeable Core vs. Common Key Cores


When it comes to commercial locks and keys, there are a variety of products and providers to choose from. While choosing a provider is oftentimes an internal decision based on budget and existing hardware, choosing the best product to maintain physical security can have a far-reaching impact on your key control. One of the choices that has to be made when implementing or updating a key control system is what type of key core can best contribute to your physical security needs. In the commercial key industry, you have two primary choices: standard interchangeable key cores and rekeyable interchangeable cores. 

Rekeyable vs. Traditional Key Cores

Both rekeyable cores and standard interchangeable cores are commercial locking hardware that can be easily rekeyed without needing professional assistance from a locksmith. The difference lies in the functionality behind rekeying.


A rekeyable core does not need to be removed from the locking hardware to change the lock. A traditional interchangeable core does need to be removed from the door hardware and replaced with a different core in order to change the lock. Rekeyable cores are built on the foundation of standard interchangeable cores, but instead of needing to be completely removed from the door for every lock change, a rekeyable core can be rekeyed nine or more times before the core needs to be fully removed.


While both key cores are an improvement over outdated key cores that required being removed by a professional, there are benefits of implementing rekeyable interchangeable cores throughout an organization rather than standard interchangeable cores.

Benefits of Rekeyable Cores

Rekeyable interchangeable cores are an innovation designed by InstaKey. Rekeyable cores build on the innovation of interchangeable cores, which were created in the early 1900’s, to continue to improve the physical security options for commercial organizations. While either type of interchangeable core can contribute to your key control effectively, there are some benefits to rekeyable cores that standard interchangeable cores do not offer.

1.   Simplify the Rekeying Process

For commercial organizations, rekeying is an inevitability no matter how efficiently physical security is managed. Keys get lost, stolen, or misplaced and rekeying is necessary to ensure that a facility and all the goods and people inside remain safe.


Interchangeable cores were created in the 20th century to eliminate the need for professional assistance with rekeying. Rekeyable cores take that simplicity to the next level by making the rekeying process internal to the locking mechanism. A rekeyable lock does not have to be removed from the door to be rekeyed, cutting down on the number of steps that make up your rekeying process.

2.   Save on Storage Space

One of the biggest frustrations that commercial organizations experience with interchangeable cores is storage. This is particularly relevant for larger companies who have multiple facilities and numerous doors to secure.


With standard interchangeable cores, replacement cores have to be stored on-site or ordered as needed when a rekey is necessary. While this may not have much of an impact on smaller organizations with only a handful of doors, larger companies often have a different experience. Even a single facility can have dozens of key cores on hand for multiple doors and master key systems. Not only does this require adequate storage space to securely store the cores, it requires regular management to ensure that backup cores are always on hand or ordered efficiently.

3.   Track Rekey Frequency More Effectively

Knowing the frequency of rekeys occurring throughout a company on a quarterly and yearly basis is valuable information that can contribute to your loss prevention tactics and reporting.




Key tracking software is the most effective way to manage this data capture, but rekeyable key cores can also improve the tracking process. With rekeyable cores, each step change that rekeys the lock can be easily kept track of. If a door is on step change number four, you know that lock has been rekeyed three times already. Whereas with standard interchangeable cores, tracking the frequency of rekeys is often left to your key manager to update when a rekey happens or when trying to fill in the blanks while looking at cores in storage.

4.   Streamline Your Master Key System

Most commercial facilities utilize a master key system in order to give certain employees and stakeholders high-level access to all locks within a facility or organization. As every company that uses a master key system knows, rekeying at the master key level can be a major hassle. Oftentimes when a master key lock is changed, not only do master key holders need new keys distributed, but so too do base level key holders. This can be a costly and time-consuming organizational headache.


Rekeyable cores eliminate this problem completely. With rekeyable cores, a rekey can take place at the master key level without impacting the user keys. This makes implementing and managing a master key system easier for master key holders and key managers alike.

Comprehensive Key Control

Your key cores are only a single piece of your larger key control system. Key control encompasses all the physical security hardware, policies, and management throughout an organization. While implementing innovative key cores throughout your company can benefit your physical security, there’s more that can be done.


Strong key control includes the key cores we have been talking about here along with restricted keys, company-wide key holder policies, and key tracking. By looking at your physical security with a system-wide mindset, you can ensure that there are no holes or weak points where your key control could be exploited or unintentionally compromised.


Here at InstaKey, we specialize in implementing a comprehensive key control system for commercial organizations of all sizes. With years of experience in the industry, we have seen the financial impact poor physical security can have on an organization. And once an effective key control system is in place, not only will security breaches and rekeys likely drop in number, but day-to-day management of keys, locks, and users will be much easier.


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  There are benefits to implementing a rekeyable interchangeable core over more traditional key cores.